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She balked at being renamed “Kit Marlowe,” and, incredibly, she won that battle.They compromised on “Kim” Novak—the name of the son of her Chicago friend and business manager, Norma Herbert, then Norma Kasell.He ran Columbia Pictures as if it were a family business, and in a way it was, because he had wrangled control from his brother Jack, who was back on the East Coast in New York.By the mid-1930s, Cohn had nurtured Columbia from a low-rent, B-movie studio on Hollywood’s “Poverty Row,” a block off Sunset, into a major Hollywood film studio.That night would be the first and virtually the last time that Kim Novak and Sammy Davis Jr. At the heart of their star-crossed affair was one of Hollywood’s sacred monsters: the notorious Harry Cohn.It was said that Harry Cohn put more people in the cemetery than all the other moguls combined.

When Cohn came in, however, the imperious Soulé seated him at the back, near the kitchen.He had created the notorious second skin glittering with sequins that Marlene Dietrich wore for her nightclub premiere in Las Vegas in 1953; he would also sew Marilyn Monroe into the sequined formfitting gown she wore when she sang “Happy Birthday” to John F. Novak was installed at the Studio Club, a curfewed dormitory for young starlets where Cohn could have his expensive new possession watched around the clock—even tailed by studio detectives to make sure she didn’t follow the wayward path of Rita Hayworth. At some point in the transformation of Marilyn Novak, her studio-assigned publicist, Muriel Roberts, dreamed up an all-lavender scheme and insisted that they rinse her hair with a pale lavender tint.The studio had wanted a gimmick to distinguish its blonde from the many other new platinum blondes on the block: Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren, Diana Dors, Joi Lansing—all outsize girls signed to compete with Marilyn Monroe and built like the decade’s big Chevys and Buicks.Then they changed her hair, dyeing it three shades of blond at once.Columbia Pictures’ house designer Jean Louis was brought in to remake her wardrobe.

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